FESTIVAL OF TREES ... Lytton Gardens Senior Center invites the community to attend the Festival of Trees on Dec. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. Eighteen festively decorated trees will be on display. Previous trees include the Flamingo Tree, Grinch Tree and Gingerbread House Tree. There will be a Santa's ornament workshop, visit from Santa, carolers and beverages. Entrance is at 437 Webster St., Palo Alto.
EVACUATION ... An electrical short leading to a hydrogen gas unit at Varian Medical Systems, 911 Hansen Way, on Monday (Dec. 12) caused more than 100 people to evacuate the building as a precaution. The building is in the Stanford Research Park. There was no fire, according to Palo Alto Fire Battalion Chief Chris Woodard. A hydrogen leak from a storage tank at the same address occurred March 14, 2010, releasing a whitish-vapor cloud that dissipated quickly and posed little danger to Barron Park homes a short distance away, fire officials said at the time. The building is adjacent to Communications and Power Industries (CPI), which had a February 2006 nitric-acid cloud that blanketed part of the neighborhood, a March 2008 100-gallon hydrochloric-acid spill and a May 2008 leak of heavy metals into the storm drain leading to nearby Matadero Creek.
NO DONKEY PARADE ... The annual Barron Park Donkey Parade will not take place this year, due to the retirement of organizer Donald Anderson. No other organizer could be found, according to Doug Moran, a Barron Park Association spokesman. The parade and caroling event, which includes the neighborhood donkeys Perry and Niner, would have celebrated its 11th year.